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Sprained ankle and cycling(6 posts)

Sprained ankle and cyclingMe Dot Org
Jun 2, 2002 7:44 PM
A friend was out of town this weekend, and as part of my dog-sitting duties, the pooches and I went hiking.

I slipped on a rock on a trail and badly sprained my ankle. It didn't help that I had to hike another half mile before I could get my leg up and rest.

The ankle is swollen, stiff and tender. Of course, I want to go riding. Has anyone had this type of injury and gone riding? Am I a fool to think about it?

Feedback welcome...
Funny you should ask...JBurton
Jun 2, 2002 8:38 PM
I just recently sprained my ankle as well...something that I haven't done in at least ten years (I used to sprain it often playing tennis). This time, I was chasing after a friend's hyper-active kid when I stepped on a root wrong and rolled my ankle so far over it scraped the ground. Anyway, I was wondering about riding myself and planned on asking on the board. Fortunately, my swelling went down significantly the next day after doing the old RICE routine the night of the accident at the insistence of the guilt ridden mother of the wayward child.

I would say that you should see how you feel tomorrow. I was in good shape for riding a couple of days later, as the pedalling action didn't stress my ankle in the direction of the sprain (a sideways roll), and it really wasn't even a factor while I rode. Don't push it. I didn't, thought I did ride, but very cautiously. If you can't walk, don't think about riding. Just use common sense. The only marginal pain I felt was when clipping out. Pedalling itself produced no pain.
re: Sprained ankle and cyclingSantaCruz
Jun 2, 2002 8:42 PM
I had a severely sprained ankle and was advised by the Dr. to stay off the bike for a month. For a week I obeyed. Then began riding the wife's hybrid gently. That went on for another 3 weeks until I ventured out on my own road bike. 8 weeks later I'm back to about 30 - 40 miles, which leaves the ankle a bit sore but not stiff. No sprints.

Take it easy is the best advice.
re: Sprained ankle and cyclingAtombomber
Jun 2, 2002 8:50 PM
I am not a doctor and don't play one on TV. Determine the severity by having an X-ray and visiting a physician. Next, get to a physiotherapist and let them start a treatment program if it is serious.

I have severely twisted both my ankles and I started riding as soon as I could start flexing the ankle with little discomfort. Tape or use an aircast to stabilize the joint if you need. If you can walk on it, you can ride on it. I separated my ankle in February in a ski accident, and though I still have some water in the joint, it isn't affecting my riding now. Standing climbing and sprinting was painful through March, but I only feel a little discomfort now when the weather is changing. From past experiences, try to maintain flexion in the ankle while keeping it laterally stiff. Ice, for the first few days, and if you're not against medication, Advil or generic ibuprofin works to reduce swelling.

You are the only one who can determine when you can ride again. If it hurts too much, wait a while longer and try again. Start easy and work up. Use light loads and spin for the first while until you think you can go harder.
re: Sprained ankle and cyclingMe Dot Org
Jun 2, 2002 8:57 PM
Thank you all. I should say that although the ankle is a stiff, I can still walk on it with "pain" (defining pain as something other than stiffness).

I guess I'll see how it feels tomorrow morning, then go for a short ride, and assess the damage in the afternoon...
Ride with minimal painKerry
Jun 3, 2002 5:09 PM
Since riding will not stress the joint in the way it was sprained, you should not have a problem if there is no/minimal pain. The added circulation from the exercise of riding will actually speed healing after the 48 hours of RICE treatment.